Hello from the world’s largest cruise ship.
I’ve been busy filming the new 20-deck, 1,198-foot Icon of the Seas – inside and out – during a preview sailing from Miami to the Bahamas.
The vast ship cost $2bn (£1.5bn) to build, took 900 days and is a ship with many ‘firsts’.
My video features the world’s first suspended infinity pool at sea and the largest offshore water park ever created, with a record-breaking six slides. Additionally, I aimed my camera around the glass-topped AquaDome, which was the largest glass and steel structure ever raised on a cruise ship and is home to a 55-foot indoor waterfall.
Royal Caribbean has been pushing the boundaries of the cruise world for decades, but Icon is next level and its exterior decks are so bright and colorful they look like another cartoon world.
Jo Kessel boarded Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas – the world’s largest cruise ship – in Miami for a preview of the vast ship ahead of its maiden voyage on January 27. Jo is pictured here enjoying a cocktail at Swim & Tonic, Royal Caribbean’s first. pool bar
Icon of the Seas, pictured here in Miami, cost $2bn (£1.5bn) and took 900 days to build.
If you’re looking for aquatic thrills, then Icon’s Category 6 is the place to be, says Jo
Category 6 is the largest water park at sea with several record-breaking rides
Jo watches a passenger brave Frightening Bolt – a 46-foot-tall slide
My video starts with swimming pools and there is a different one for each day of the week.
Royal Bay is the largest pool at sea. Then there’s Swim & Tonic, Royal Caribbean’s first swim-up bar whose cocktails share a key ingredient. You guessed it: tonic! The piece de resistance, however, is Hideaway – the first-ever suspended infinity pool on a cruise ship, hanging dizzyingly over the side of the ship, 135 feet above the ocean.
But if you’re looking for aquatic thrills, then Icon’s Category 6 is the place to be – and that’s where the video heads next.
You are sure to cause a sensation: Royal Bay is the largest swimming pool at sea
Swim & Tonic cocktails all share one key ingredient: tonic!
Discover the largest water park at sea with several record-breaking rides.
Pressure Drop is the first-ever open-sea free-fall slide (sounds terrifying), with a 66-degree incline; and Frightening Bolt is a 46-foot-tall slide. Their names are enough to scare you.
My images then move to the front of Icon, where you’ll find the dazzling glass-topped AquaDome, a one-of-a-kind entertainment space that houses the AquaTheatre, whose four nine-foot robotic arms feature lights at the ends (used for special effects) and cost millions.
Royal Caribbean has been pushing the boundaries of the cruise world for decades, says Jo
Kessel on a boat: above, Jo enjoys the first ever infinity pool suspended at sea
Dream cabin: Jo’s images are taken in her cozy room with balcony
Jo reveals the acrobatic shows on Icon are “breathtaking” – and some incorporate the ship’s 55ft high indoor waterfall.
It is here that breathtaking acrobatic shows using divers instead of gymnasts are staged daily. Like Cirque du Soleil on the water.
This 55-foot indoor waterfall becomes a spectacular element of the ensemble.
Finally, we enter the heart of the ship to explore my cabin as well as two other Royal Caribbean debuts: the new walk-up Bubbles Champagne Bar and “The Pearl.”
It’s a giant three-deck spherical installation with an artistic staircase – Icon’s answer to the more conventional atrium of a cruise ship.
The finale is a dazzling fireworks display before the ship sets off in exciting fashion, heading to the Bahamas for the maiden sailing before a maiden voyage on January 27, from which Icon will offer weekly round-trip voyages of seven nights in Miami to the Caribbean.
For more of Jo’s videos, visit her YouTube channel Go with Jo.
Impressive Ferry: the vast, iconic Central Park district
Corkage: Jo ventures to the Icon’s champagne bar – Bubbles
Here, a bartender from Bubbles pours Jo a glass of fizz.
Jo is pictured here looking at Icon’s Pearl feature – a giant three-story spherical installation.
Icon of the Seas has 20 decks and is 1,198 feet long. This official drone footage captured her arriving in Miami
Jo describes Icon of the Seas, pictured above in Miami, as ‘next level’